Monday, 4 August 2014

The Ibaloi Culture

The Ibaloi Culture
The Ibaloi or Nabaloi is an indigenous ethnic group found in the northern PhilippinThe Ibaloi are one of the indigenous peoples collectively known as Igorot, who live in the mountains of the Cordillera Central on the island of Luzon.

The Ibaloi are a mostly agricultural people cultivating rice in terraced fields. Many contemporary Ibaloi have integrated into the mainstream Filipino culture and some are employed as miners in the gold and silver mines of Benguet.
The Ibaloi traditionally practiced mummification. The process they used involved smoking the corpse for months to completely dehydrate the dead body, which preserved every part of the body including tattoos and internal organs. They would then encase the preserved body within a hollowed out log and placed in caves that are thought to be spiritual by the Ibaloi.

The Ibaloi language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages family. It is closely related to the Pangasinan language.

The Ibaloi inhabit southeastern Benguet in the Cordillera Administrative Region; they are concentrated in Kabayan, Bukod, Tuba, Itogon, Tublay, La Trinidad, Sablan, and Atok. Like the Southern Kankanaey, they are also called Benguet. The Ibaloi language has a linguistic sound that is close to Pangasinense, the language of Pangasinan Province, possibly due to the free movement of the natives of Pangasinan in the pre-Spanish era.

Ibalois are friendly and hardworking people. They have a fair complexion and are usually four to five feet tall. Farming is their chief occupation and rice, their staple. For meat, they raise cows, pigs, and chickens. The Ibaloi customs, traditions, and beliefs are very similar to those of the Kankanaeys, but their languages are not.

Ibaloi people are one of the many ethno-linguistic indigenous tribes that inhabit Benguet Province in the southern most part of the Cordillera Mountain Range in Northern Luzon. Collectively know as Igorot, with the other tribes in the region, Ibaloi people continue to fight to preserve their culture and language. Ibaloi people experienced many years of colonization by the Spanish, Japanese, and by the Americans, resulting in the destruction of their ancestral farmlands by extractive economies such as mining and logging. The Cosalan Family actively works to preserve their indigenous Ibaloi culture by teaching the next generation about their history, wisdom, and sustainable agriculture practices.

The Ibaloy (Ibaloi, Ibadoy, Igodor, Benguet Igorot, Nabaloi, Benguet, Iniballuy) constitute a large ethnic group that number approximately 112,447 (NSO 1990) and are found in Benguet province, principally in the municipalities of Itogon (12,353), Tuba (11,063), La Trinidad (12,136), Bokod (8,911), Baguio (68,550), and Atok (9,063) (NSO 1980, 1990). The population has spread to the neighboring provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, and Nueva Ecija. Kabayan is recognized as the center of Ibaloy culture. The settlements are scattered in the municipalities of Bokod, Atok, Tublay, Sablan, and Kabayan. A wide range of dialectical differences are known but not clearly studied. Thus far, (1) Ibaloy Proper and (2) Karao are the subgroups cited.
To some extent, rice terracing is practiced in the lower reaches of the drainange systems. Sweet potato and taro are planted dry in areas that cannot be irrigated. The terracing technology is at present applied to middle latitude vegetable growing. Rice is the principal and ritual food. Animal husbandry is practiced, although meat is traditionally limited to ritual consumption. The group has a long history of gold and copper mining.
The Ibaloy lack the ward system of the Bontoc although in the past there were communal dormitories. A traditional community would have a council of elders (tongtong) whose opinions hold sway over a two-tiered social system: the rich (baknang) and the poor (abitug). Deities collectively called "Kabunian" include the major entity, "Kabigat." Souls of departed relatives (kaamaran) are revered. Ritual celebrations, reportedly numbering more than 40 classes are conducted by mambunung. These include the prestige feast pashit and curing seances that feature animal sacrifice, feasting, and use of fermented rice beer. The rich in Kabayan used to be interred in coffins after mummification in artificially made caves.

The Ibaloi (Bengetano, Benguet Igorot, Ibaloy, Igodor, Inibaloi, Inibaloy, Inibiloi, N abaloi) inhabit central and southern Benguet province and western Nueva Vizcaya Province, Luzon, the Philippines. In 1975 they numbered nearly 89,000. Ibaloi is classified in the Hesperonesian Group of the Austronesian Language Family. Contact with neighboring groups and Christian missionaries and involvement in the national economy have produced considerable local variation in Ibaloi culture.

Houses, generally scattered in fields or on hillsides, are raised about two meters on posts and covered with a pyramidal thatched roof. Subsistence is based on wet rice, tubers, beans, and maize, supplemented occasionally with the meat of pigs, dogs, chickens, water buffalo, horses, and cattle. Descent is bilateral. There is marked differentiation between the rich and the poor, with a considerable concentration of power and influence in the hands of the former. The traditional Ibaloi religion centered on ancestor worship.


  1. andito pa kme mga Ibaloy from Kapangan....

  2. Ibaloi nowadays are highly educated and Christian believers

  3. Ibaloi nowadays are highly educated and Christian believers

  4. May I know what is the origin of ibaloi's culture and tradition .. ?? Where or how did it started ???